How to add value to a rental property

With the private rented sector continuing to account for millions of UK households, there’s little doubting the competitiveness of this vital part of the British economy. However, whatever corner of the rental market, there are always ways to further bolster the earnings from a property portfolio…

Offer something more to your target tenants

What kind of tenants would likely be attracted to the rental property in its current condition and location? This is a major factor in maximising it’s value. If the property is near a university for example, the surrounding area is probably a desirable hotspot for students – in which case, something as simple as internet access may be a considerably alluring extra for such prospective tenants.

Your property being in a ‘student’ area also doesn’t necessarily force you to cater solely for more cash-strapped tenants. You could increase the amount you are able to charge in rents by targeting wealthier students – as is often the case for those coming from overseas – or even lecturers seeking a nice rental home close to their place of employment. Once you’ve pinned down who you’ll be aiming your property at, you’ll then be able to ask yourself what ‘extras’ will be especially enticing for them.

Ensure the property is in the best possible condition

All tenants are going to want a property that looks and feels nice to live in, so the condition of a rental house or apartment is super important. Even just having a thorough, deep clean once the previous tenant has left can make a major difference to the perceptions of potential tenants who come to see the property, so get those marigolds on or call in the professionals.

If you wanted to step it up a notch, get a lick of paint on the walls. Every little thing you do to enhance your property’s appearance and state of repair could make a prospective tenant more likely to choose it or accept a higher rent when comparing it to alternatives.

Also, remember that there’s a greater tendency these days for tenants to spend years in a property rather than rent on a temporary basis. That heightens the importance of keeping your property well-maintained, including by avoiding or addressing any damp or condensation issues as well.

Prioritise the kitchen and bathroom

There’s no ‘unimportant’ part of the rental house or apartment of course, but when you have only limited time or funds to spend on your property, it makes sense to target those areas that make an especially strong impression on the tenant, which is likely to be where they’ll spend a lot of their time.

In that sense, the kitchen and main bathroom should be at the top of your list. You might want to fit a whole new bathroom or kitchen, but if your budget does not stretch to this then even just a fresh coat of paint, new taps and appliances, a power shower or a glass screen could make a big difference.

Consider a house extension or loft conversion

Many landlords, especially those catering to the student market, opt to rent out individual rooms rather than their entire property to a single tenant. That’s certainly one way to gain more income from a single property, but what if the property isn’t large enough for that?

Why not look at having your property extended? That way, you can add more space that can be converted into rentable rooms. A well-done house extension or loft conversion can offer many possibilities, such as turning a two-bedroom home into a three-bedroom home in an area where there may be a lot of demand for the latter. On the other hand, perhaps a lounge, or something novel such as a home cinema or games room could help to maximise the appeal of your property to your target tenants.

Remember that any changes you make to your property may still need planning permission and to pass building controls. Nonetheless, if you get your changes right, you can look forward to boosting not only the rents you’re able to charge but also the price your property commands if you one day but it up for sale. Win-win!

Make sure you have the right landlord insurance in place

Given all of the time and money you’re likely to have spent on your property, the very least you should do is ensure that your investment is protected. That’s precisely what a suitable landlord policy will enable you to do. What’s more, you can find the ideal policy so much more easily with the help of our independent, whole-of-market comparison service here at Protect Your Bricks.

From buildings and contents cover to specific protection against such common perils as fire, flood and theft, there’s so much that can be covered within a landlord insurance policy – and Protect Your Bricks can guide you towards a policy that meets all of your requirements.

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